Looking at the packed and bouncing Leeds University Union venue, it was apparent that Sundara Karma’s debut album Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect certainly resonated with fans currently in the heart of such youth. Reading-based four-piece indie band dropped the album earlier this year, after much anticipation following previous EP releases Flame and Olympia.
First support act Palm Honey got the youthful crowd moving and set up a hypnotic ambience that was carried on in to the night. Performing songs from their debut EP Tucked into the Electronic Wave, Palm Honey entertained with their unique style of crunchy electro pop.
Next up was Will Joseph Cook, who with his catchy disco-funk sounds, had the audience singing along, which proved the perfect amuse-bouche for Sundara Karma’s entrance. Cook’s debut album Sweet Dreamer is coming out on 14 April and will follow a long string of EP releases.
Launching straight into the heart of their debut album, Sundara Karma opened with A Young Understanding. Flamboyant frontman Oliver Pollock, impressed with his clean and heartfelt vocals and managed to get the crowd jumping whilst creating a positive and joyous atmosphere.
It is easy to see, when listening to the catchy riffs and relatable lyrics, why the band resonates so well with such a young audience. The impossibly infectious feel-good track of the album She Said, the kind of tune that is likely to be stuck in your head for days, was a clear and obvious crowd favourite with every vocal-chord of the adoring fans being engaged.
The group managed to mellow the energetic and pumped-up audience with the lengthy acoustic introduction of their closing track Happy Family, before launching into the song that added a perfectly bittersweet and uplifting end to the night. The inevitable chant of “one more song” rung out as the stage started to clear.
Sundara Karma were happy to comply and belt out the zestful and energetic encores The Night and Loveblood. As the exhausted and glitter stained crowd dispersed, it is evident that although Sundara Karma had, in retrospect, perfectly captured the uncertainty of youth, their future certainly looks bright.
Review by Tabitha Kelly and photography by Phoebe Kelly